gum disease

Gum Disease

gum diseaseServing Brentwood, Belle Meade and Green Hills Areas of Nashville TN

Are your gums puffy, red, or bleed easily? If so, then you may be suffering from gum disease, an infection that affects the hard and soft tissues of your mouth. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to major oral health problems, while also threatening your overall health.

Your local Nashville dentists at Devine Dentistry have a dedicated program of services to provide both diagnosis and treatment of this potential threat to your health and well-being.

Gum disease and its stages

Bacteria represent the primary building block of gum disease. If allowed to build up in your mouth, this bacteria eventually causes an infection in the tissue of your gums. This accumulation typically happens as a result of failing to perform proper oral hygiene, but may also be due to genetics, hormone fluctuations, and certain medications or medical conditions.

The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis. In this stage, a patient with gum disease may notice his or her gums are swollen, red, tender, and bleed easily. Gingivitis is often related to pink in the sink, because your gums may bleed easily when you brush and floss your teeth.

At this point, gingivitis can be reversed with a healthy regimen of oral care, and regular dental cleanings by your oral hygienist in Nashville at Devine Dentistry.

The second, more serious stage of gum disease is periodontitis. Once gum disease reaches this stage, then your teeth and mouth have sustained permanent damage. In a case of periodontitis, the bacteria and inflammation in the gums form pockets between the teeth and the gum line, causing the gum tissue to separate from your teeth. Once these periodontal pockets form, professional treatment is the only way to clean the pockets and stop the progression of periodontal disease.

How does Devine Dentistry treat gum disease?

Treatment for your case of gum disease will vary, depending on your needs. During your consultation with us at Devine Dentistry, we will assess your current state of oral health, and then recommend the best course of action to get your smile healthy again. Part of treating your gum disease will require your commitment to oral hygiene, and following through with treatment at our office in Nashville.

Here are some common ways that your Nashville area dentists at Devine Dentistry may treat gum disease.

  • Repetitive therapy refers to a combination of scaling and root planing, which is essentially a deep cleaning of your mouth. This will clean the periodontal pockets that form during periodontitis. We prefer to perform repetitive therapy at pre-determined intervals since an anesthetic typically is applied to the area being treated. By treating just one side of the mouth at the time, this avoids having to numb the entire mouth at once.
  • Laser bacterial removal (LBR) can be an advantageous alternative to treating gum disease. LBR uses a non-cutting laser to remove the harmful bacteria from hard to reach areas of the mouth. 
  • In some cases, laser gum surgery may be necessary to remove the diseased area of tissue, which allows the healthy gum tissue to reattach to each tooth. Laser dentistry also entails less bleeding, is more precise, and takes less time than traditional gum surgery. The recovery time is significantly shorter as well.

Is treatment of gum disease important?

Yes! Gum disease is not a problem that merely will go away on its own.

Without professional diagnosis and treatment, a patient with gum disease will encounter periodontitis and, eventually, the following oral health issues:

  • Receding gums
  • Tooth loss
  • Jawbone loss
  • Malnutrition
  • Dental pain
  • Premature aging of the face due to tooth loss

Eventually, your life even can be jeopardized by gum disease. Studies performed by the American Academy of Periodontology show that a gum disease patient has almost double the risk of developing cardiac disease as the plaque and bacteria in the mouth filter into the bloodstream and arteries, leading to chronic inflammation in the body.

Gum Disease Treatment in Nashville

Why live with that risk? If you or a member of your family has gum disease or is showing symptoms of the disease, then contact the Nashville office of Devine Dentistry today at (615) 269-4209 to schedule a consultation.

Devine Dentistry provides total oral health care for patients living in the areas of Belle Meade, Green Hills, and Nashville, Tennessee.